NFL Week 2 Prediction: Patriots vs Jets

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

There's nothing like a divisional matchup. The New England Patriots head to New York to take on the rival Jets in an AFC East matchup. Let's dive into a Patriots spread vs. a Jets pick and determine the best bet for this matchup in this prediction.

Patriots vs Jets Prediction

Let's look at Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's record against rookie quarterbacks as the first factor. He is 21-6 (77%-win percentage) against rookie quarterbacks. We know Belichick is a mastermind at game planning and exploiting opposing teams' offenses.

If that wasn't concerning enough for quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets, they are going up against Belichick & Co. without their starting left tackle Mekhi Becton. So not only should you expect the Jets to struggle against the Patriots' top-10 defense with Belichick calling the shots, but now they'll have to do it with added pressure upfront with a depleted offensive line.

Patriots Offense

Although Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was featured as a dink-and-dunk quarterback last week, I believe a significant reason behind that was the aggressiveness and talent of the Miami Dolphins defense. In Week 2, Jones will not be facing an elite defense, and I believe we may find a quarterback with deeper throws and a playbook showcasing more explosiveness. 

The Patriots seem to be a run-heavy offense like last year yet rely on short passes to move the ball up and down the field. Will this continue for the entire 2021 season? Only time will tell. I believe Jones will pick apart this defense, whether short or long passes and the Patriots defense will do enough to make Wilson "see ghosts."

The Same Old Jets

You can add a new head coach, a new starting quarterback, and other new pieces, but sometimes it just doesn't matter. Will Wilson and the Jets eventually become contenders? Maybe. But in start #2 vs. an elite defense in the Patriots? Doubtful.

The New York offense struggled against a weaker Carolina Panthers defense. They scored zero first-half points and were limited to just seven total points until the final drive of the game with a little over two minutes left. I expect more of the same from the Jets this week.

It is a divisional game, so there is always the element of surprise, and most divisional games are hard-fought and end up close. However, the Jets haven't beaten the Patriots since 2015 – a stretch of 10 straight losses. 

Patriots vs Jets Prediction & Pick

I believe this is a straightforward matchup where the market focuses on last week's box scores rather than the current game itself. If the Patriots had beaten the Dolphins last week and if the Jets didn't score the final touchdown to look "competitive" in the stats, I think this would be closer to a 6–7-point spread.

I'll gladly take the Patriots to cover a touchdown in this scenario.